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The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has called on state governors to exercise caution in relaxing the lockdown directives in their respective states.

Mr Mustapha, while speaking at the daily Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, said the decision poses the risk of exposing more people to the virus.

Despite the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, some states are relaxing the lockdown measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

Bauchi, Kano, Adamawa, Cross River, Borno, Ebonyi are among states that have taken this decision, lifting the ban on religious gatherings.

Except for Cross River, all of the states have recorded at least one case of COVID-19.

President Muhammadu Buhari earlier announced a ban on large social and religious gatherings in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun, and Kano. The president also ordered a nationwide inter-state travel ban.

State governments also imposed lockdown in their respective domains.

Risk

Mr Mustapha said relaxing the lockdown may bear serious consequences as the infection might spread further.

“It is also of national importance to inform our subnational entities of the need to diligently implement the guidelines and to exercise caution in relaxing the restrictions in a manner that is capable of setting back the gains that have been already made.

“It is imperative for each of us to take personal and collective responsibility,” he said.

Large gatherings

Mr Mustapha said large gatherings beyond 20 persons remains restricted.

“A strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond 20 persons remains restricted and should be adhered to.

“I am particular about congregational gatherings. Large gatherings will expose even the 20 per cent that we have been trying to protect.

“So, I will urge our subnationals to really reconsider their decisions in allowing for large gatherings to take place until when we are fully prepared,” he said.

He also urged state governments to ensure compliance to restriction guidelines and take community ownership to the grassroots.

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